UN Security Council postpones vote on political mission in Haiti



UNITED NATIONS — The UN Security Council postponed Wednesday’s vote on extending the UN’s political mission in Haiti after China called for closed-door consultations on the draft resolution.

China has no diplomatic relations with Haiti, which is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and is plagued by an increase in gang-related violence, with an increase in kidnappings and murders.

Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, said after the meeting that “everyone is very concerned and we think we need to do more.” The question is “what to do concretely”, he said.

The United States and Mexico, who are responsible for drafting the resolution, will make some changes to the text.

In October 2021, a last-minute compromise was reached between China, which only wanted a six-month extension of the UN mission, and many other Council members who called for a long-term presence of UN and wanted a one-year term.

This unanimously adopted resolution extended the political mission until Friday. Diplomats said they expected to vote on a new resolution that day.

When this resolution was passed in October, Haiti had been grappling with the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse last July, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that killed more than 2,200 people in August, and the escalation gang-related murders, kidnappings and turf wars.

A year after the assassination, gang violence is even worse and Haiti has entered a tailspin that has seen the economy collapse and many Haitians flee the country to escape the turmoil.

This week, officials in the Haitian capital reported that dozens of people had died following days of fighting between rival gangs in the violent neighborhood of Cite Soleil. Doctors Without Borders said on Tuesday that thousands of people were stranded in this neighborhood without clean water, food and medical care.

An overwhelmed government struggles to suppress the gangs. At the same time, attempts to form a coalition government have failed and efforts to hold general elections have stalled, leaving many wondering where Haiti is headed.

China’s anger towards Haiti stems from its diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Haiti is one of 13 countries that continue to recognize democratic and self-governing Taiwan, which China claims as part of its own territory.

The United Nations has been involved in Haiti on and off since 1990, and the last United Nations peacekeeping mission was in the country from 2004 to October 2017. The political mission currently there advises the Haitian government. on “promoting and strengthening political stability and good governance”. including the implementation of the rule of law, an inclusive national dialogue and the protection and protection of human rights.

Mexico’s ambassador to the UN, Juan Ramon De La Fuente Ramirez, told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s meeting that he was very concerned about the situation in Haiti.

“Now is the time to act smartly and effectively,” he said, adding that the new resolution should at least mention the root causes of the violence, which it did not do before.

The Mexican envoy also called for an urgent inter-Haitian dialogue, including with the gangs, “because this is the only way for Haitians to be able to take on more responsibility.”


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